TULSA, Oklahoma –
For the first time since the partial closure of the government was launched 21 days ago, thousands of federal workers were not paid on Friday.
Without money, federal workers who are not paid could easily subvert their accounts. But at First Oklahoma Bank, they tell customers, "Do not worry, we've covered you."
The clients of the first bank of Oklahoma received a letter from bank executives shortly before Christmas, awaiting a government arrest. The letter tells customers that the bank will help them pay their regular bills if their bill goes out.
"When we arrived in December of this year and it seemed like the government could close, we went to wait for it to be Christmas – the time for people to be afraid of what I will do if I do not get a check ", said the first co-CEO of Oklahoma Bank, Tom Bennett.
Bennett was right, the government's arrest happened and now thousands of federal workers awaiting checks did not get them.
"We tried to imagine ourselves in the circumstance of a government employee who would not receive a salary and would go as we would like the bank to treat us?" Bennett said.
Bennett said that employees are not to blame for not being paid, that's why he made the new policy. He said the bank will treat the accounts as if the check had arrived as usual.
"Well, you still have a payment of the house to pay, a payment of the car to do and you have to buy groceries then go ahead and write those checks, as you are only writing up to the amount you would have obtained, we will pay them "said Bennett.
Bennett says, just because the government has closed does not mean that everyone else has to do it. He hopes that others will spread the same message.
"We hope other companies in the community will also look to their customers and what can we do to help? How can we be a community that takes care of one another," Bennett said.
Bennett said they will continue to provide this assistance as long as they need it.